Back to front or like colors first? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Back to front or like colors first?

02-06-2017, 10:58 AM
So in my initial paintings with a moderate degree of complexity, I simply painted the sky first, then the distance and worked my way forward. My current painting has several buildings that are white with varying level of shading. Should I:

1) Work furthest to nearest?
My concern with this approach is that over several painting sessions that I'll never get the various shades of white mixed to match previous sessions.

2) Color by numbers approach?
By painting everything that is the same shade of white first, I'll have the advantage of color consistency between sessions but I'd have to be extremely careful with transition spaces and painting in the tight spaces. And I could accidentally overpaint something I shouldn't.


02-07-2017, 01:42 PM
good question,
is there a focal point you like the most? you might want to start there, and work your way out?
this forum is very quiet some times, and the gallery appears almost empty. put something up to share if you get a chance.

02-08-2017, 03:50 AM
here is a good explanation in general and the quote for what you are asking if you dont want to click a link :


When painting with acrylics, you usually paint the mid tones first (local color), then add the darks (shadows), and finish with the lightest parts (highlights).
One thing to be aware of and try to avoid when using acrylic paint is getting ‘hard edges’. This happens when you paint up to the edge of a line, and stop. When you come back to that same spot and want to blend the color, it is impossible because of the hard line which is formed when the paint dries so quickly. “Feather” your edges so that when you come back to that spot, you can easily blend or cover what is not desired in the painting. Feathering otherwise known as Sfumato is done by going over the drawn line with a very small amount of very thin paint – so that you can still see the drawn line underneath, but you do not have a definite hard line of paint built up at the edge of the drawn line.
If you make a ‘mistake’ when painting, either try to wipe it off with a clean dampened rag, or wait until the paint has dried and paint over the mistake.
If it is too difficult to paint over, you can always use Gesso (the white ground which is used to prime canvasses) to ‘white out’ the error, and start again – either on that patch or the entire painting!

02-23-2017, 09:36 AM
Hi! There is actually an exercise similar to what it sounds like you are painting in one of my reference texts on acrylic - here's what they recommend:
"First the canvas is stained (with a background color) - the stain is light and scrubbed on with a rag or towel, enabling you to rub it into the weave of the canvas...Scumbling the paint over the staining breaks up the surface of the city shapes, giving some depth (the background peeks through). The flat brush suits the subject, providing almost instant buildings." In this case, a stain or glaze of the background or throughout the work may help define the buildings.
I also wouldn't be too worried about overpainting something - with acrylics it is relatively easy to fix, and variations of brush size and shape will fit into those tight spaces.

I have attached a reference photo from the book as well, hopefully that also clarifies some.
Hope this helps!